Monday TV: ‘Smash’ and NBC’s ‘Super Monday’ Push

It’s surprising nobody’s thought to do it before: Get the clever people behind Broadway shows to do television. “Glee” proved there was an audience for shows with song, and “South Park” proved there was a shared sensibility at least.

And the new “Smash” (NBC, 10 p.m.) shines with the talent of people in front and behind the screen. Ostensibly it’s about some Broadway writers toying with the idea of writing a musical about Marilyn Monroe. Things move awfully fast and before you know it they’re casting people.

The show is aided mightily by Debra Messing in a central role – she’s smart and funny and brings a gravity to her parts; even better is Angelica Huston, who is just as tough and powerful as you’d expect a producer to be. A lot of the tension will between the two obvious finalists for the role: Broadway star Megan Hilty of “Wicked” and “American Idol” finalist Katherine McPhee, in a role to cheer.

The show opening may prove to be like this show’s regionals for “Glee” – they’ll take forever to get there. But for now, it’s just about the most entertaining new show of the season and the best bet NBC has had to offer outside its Thursday comedies.

“Smash” is preceded by two hours of “The Voice” (NBC, 8 p.m.) as the four judges continue to fill their teams. Each gets to pick 12 singers, so this may go on for a while. So far, each has just one singer; except for Christina Aguilera, who has two.

Taken together, the two shows represent the biggest hopes NBC has had in lifting itself out of last place. As such, they’ve called it “Super Monday.” Perhaps you’ve seen some promo?

Nine remaining contestants get to go to Panama on “The Bachelor” (ABC, 8 p.m.); just six get to continue (three, we imagine, will be thrown in the canal).

“Castle” (ABC, 10 p.m.) goes back to try and solve a crime committed in 1947.

And everything else on broadcast TV is new is well.

Jeffrey Wright guest stars on “House” (Fox, 8 p.m.); Martin Short is on “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS, 8 p.m.).

The documentary “Underground Railroad: The William Still Story” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) profiles the son of ex-slaves who helped start the organization to help free other slaves.

A truth-themed event may seem out of place on “Pretty Little Liars” (ABC Family, 8 p.m.).

Part two of the reunion of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” (Bravo, 9 p.m.) isn’t the end – there’s a part three to come. (Part one reruns at 8).

If you’re not catching “Luck” (HBO, 9 p.m.; HGO2, 9 and 10 p.m.; HBO Signature, 9 p.m.) you’re not trying (or not an HBO subscriber).

Here’s a bad double bill: “Soup Plane” (BET, 8 p.m.) and “Undercover Brother” (BET, 10 p.m.). This one is a little better: “Beetlejuice” (Encore, 8 p.m.) with “The Goonies” (Encore, 9:30 p.m.). Best double bill of all: “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (IFC, 8 p.m.) with “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (IFC, 10 p.m.).

Next stop for the 31 Days of Oscar on Turner Classic Movies: The Netherlands, setting for “Foreign Correspondent” (8 p.m.), “The Diary of Anne Frank” (10:15 p.m.), “One of Our Aircraft is Missing” (1:30 a.m.), “Lust for Life” (3:30 a.m.) and “Captains Courageous’ (5:45 a.m.).

In college hoops it’s Connecticut at Louisville (ESPN, 7 p.m.) and Texas at Texas A&M (ESPN, 9 p.m.); in women’s games, it’s North Carolina at Duke (ESPN2, 7 p.m.) and Oklahoma at Baylor (ESPN2, 9 p.m.).

In NHL action, it’s Red Wings at Coyotes (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: Debra Messing, Atticus Shaffer, Derek Hough. The View: Madeleine Stowe, Taylor Armstrong. The Talk: Suze Orman, Jennifer Coolidge, Wayne Brady. Ellen DeGeneres: Jim Parsons, Miley Cyrus. Wendy Williams: Mario Lopez. Rosie O’Donnell: Suze Orman.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Eli Manning, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joe Scarborough, Die Antwoord. Jay Leno: Dwayne Johnson, Miranda Cosgrove, Cirque du Soleil “Ovo.” Jimmy Kimmel: LL Cool J, Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, Pitbull. Craig Ferguson: Mark Harmon, Martha Plimpton. Tavis Smiley: Chuck Hagel. Carson Daly: Ziggy Marley, Greg Nicotero, fun (rerun). Jon Stewart: Tilda Swinton (rerun). Stephen Colbert: Drew Barrymore (rerun). Conan O’Brien: Kristen Bell, Bret McKenzie, John Roy. Chelsea Handler: Piers Morgan, Josh Wolf, Ben Gleib, Sarah Colonna.

This entry was posted in What's On TV. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

One Trackback

  • By URL on February 7, 2012 at 1:17 am

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: […]…